Monday, August 24, 2015

What its like inside my brain


Great weigh-in. I feel strong. I am back within the range where it could be goal, where I could fluctuate a pound here or there. 

I stand in Dr. Ben's office and mindlessly eat Hershey miniatures. It's just a couple. I don't weigh in until next week. I'm good. I'll be good.


The scale was up almost a pound. Did I eat more chocolate than I thought yesterday? How could that happen? Why am I eating these dark chocolate kisses in my office? I know they are only like 20 calories, a few more can't really hurt. Oh my god, my parents are coming tomorrow. They'll be here for four days. We'll be eating out. I have to make cookies for my father. I had such good momentum going into Tuesday's weigh-in…why the visit now? How can I strategize this visit better?


The scale was up again. OK, I'll make all my dad's cookies on Friday and get them out of the way. I won't eat any. We'll grill out on Friday night. I'll still eat my normal breakfast, lunches and snacks. I'll still be able to work out.


These cookies taste so good. I'm not even hungry. Why am I eating them? My mouth is hungry, watering for them. My stomach is starting to hurt. Why can't I stop eating them?


At this point, I should just enjoy this weekend as a vacation, right? People can indulge on vacations. I'll be up a few pounds, I'll be better next week, right? No…I can't enjoy this. I'm eating "junk" food, "good" food, "yummy" food…and I can't enjoy it. I should just let myself enjoy this, it's going to happen anyway. My parents have been in the house for less than 48 hours and suddenly I've reverted to old, bad eating habits. How does that happen? They aren't even doing anything. It's just so pavlovian…I can't help myself.


It's the last day, I can eat better tomorrow. We're going out to dinner. My mom ordered hot, soft pretzels for an appetizer. I got a burger and fries. I'm full from dinner and yet I'm eating cookies again. At this point, why the hell not? I hate myself for it. 


The scale hates me. I'm up eight pounds. I know it's not real. It's like a false positive. Eight pounds and yet I still went right to the kisses when I walked into the office. Sigh


I'm down four on my scale, didn't even want to look at the gym last night when I weighed in. End of day, with clothes. I couldn't have handled looking at a higher middle number. My eating still sucks, though it's better. 

I saw on Facebook that a family friend is pregnant. She already has one kid, by a different guy. She has an entry level job. Yes, I'm being judgmental. When I texted my niece about it, she said, "she is a really good mom." Sorry, I have a broken uterus, I'm not feeling very gracious about this right now.  Somehow I found myself in Dr. Ben's office, ate a couple and grabbed a couple for my bag. I suck.


My four sisters are going on vacation together this weekend. I wasn't invited. I'm 16, 15, 14 and 9 years younger than them, but it still hurts that I wasn't included, not even considered. Somehow I feel like I'm being left out -- punished -- for my singledom as the four of them, and their husbands, vacation together. I sit in a colleagues office and eat caramel cremes and Dove dark chocolates. My sisters suck.


I had a good workout. I'm almost there. But not yet. I'm getting frozen yogurt after I go grocery shopping. I managed to skip the candy aisle.  I'm eating this because I want it. I'm making the conscious decision to eat this, not because I'm stressed, not because I'm eating my feelings, not because I haven't heard from a boy in a few days or feel over-whelmed at work. 


I feel good. I'm strong. I'm staying on track today.


How the fuck did the scale go up? I stayed within my calories. Yes, I had an Italian sausage at the Eagles game last night, with practically no roll. It took talent to eat a sausage link -- with practically no roll -- and not have it look phallic. Ergh…..stay on track. Stay on track.


I was down two pounds this morning, still up two from pre-parents visit. I walked by Dr. Ben's office today, without even a second glance. I stayed away from the kisses in the office. I worked out as soon as I got home. I stayed on track nutritionally 100%.

I think I can let go of the obsessing. A little bit. At least for this week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

When we will ever get over it?

I was scanning Facebook last night and saw this headline:

"Read this if You Don't Really Have an Eating Disorder, But Kind of Do."

Coincidentally, I had been thinking about my eating disorder years, when I was afraid of food and wondering if I was going down the same path, even subtly. I have green seedless grapes in my fridge. I had had some at a friend's house about a month ago and they tasted so good, I wanted more. And then I put them into myFitnessPal and saw how many carbs are in them. Even in a half serving. And there the grapes sit in my fridge.

I've always had a precarious relationship with food, with my body, with exercise. I think it's something that most women do, even if they have never been perceived to have a weight issue. It's how we're wired. It's how society talks to us.

I was out with a radio rep a few weeks ago and somehow got on the topic of food, dieting, exercise... and he told me his girlfriend once told him that she thought about food all the time. And the thought I had was, "wow, I'm not the only one."

I think about food. all. the. time. When I'm dieting. When I'm not.

So when I clicked on the above article and read it, I thought immediately, I could have written this.

We know what it feels like to be incapacitated by body obsession—by food thoughts. Because we’ve long been slaves to that apex of tall, thin, white, blond perfection. That apex we’ve been climbing to since we were old enough to look in the mirror and hate what we saw—since we were old enough to be consumed by our consumption. To jitter with paranoia that people are constantly critiquing our bodies—cheapening them. Fattening them. To fiercely hold the fucked up belief that our weight and our happiness are perfectly, inversely proportional. Even if we’ve never had an eating disorder, we grew up with them.

That’s why a violent surge of panic rushes through me when my boss suggests we order pizza for dinner. I had two slices of bread with my salad at lunch—that’s plenty of carbs for today.

Most think of eating disorders as simply anorexia or bulimia -- starving or binging and purging. There are so many facets, such a spectrum of what qualifies as an eating disorder. I think, in a way, unless a woman has a healthy relationship with food and exercise (can I meet her, please?), we all have a tendency for disorder.

At my worst, in my mid-30s, I was diagnosed as an exercise bulimic. I ate about 800-1,000 calories a day and worked out to the point of having a net negative amount of calories, typically two or three hours of cardio. And I was afraid of food. My nutritionist asked me to eat an ice cream cone as my homework assignment. Not just stop and get it somewhere, but to actually have the ice cream and cones in my house.

I bought a single, serving container of ice cream and a box of cones, and literally put one tablespoon of ice cream on the cone. I can see myself -- to this day -- standing at the counter, looking at the ridiculously small amount of ice cream on the cone and not being able to lick it. And at that moment, I realized that this could be an issue.

So last night, after reading the article, I had to have a heart to heart with myself. Yes, I am afraid of the grapes in my fridge, but that didn't stop me from sitting in Dr. Ben's office yesterday and eating eight Hershey miniatures. One could say that's just another symptom of a disorder. Possibly, but like I said, until or unless I have a perfectly healthy relationship with food, there will always be some disorder.

What I validated for myself last night was…I'm allowed a cheat. Where once those Hershey miniatures in the afternoon would have turned into a handful also in my bag for later and four days of cheating, I'm done with the chocolate for awhile. 

If I really wanted the grapes, I would eat them and fit them into my day. Bananas have nearly as many carbs and I have one in my smoothie most mornings.

I'm 10 years older than I was when I was working out to excess. I don't have the energy to do that, even if I was inspired to! I like my 10 p.m. bedtime too much, and am NOT an morning exerciser.

I run. I eat healthy. Do I obsess? Yes, sometimes. But can I let go and enjoy myself for a meal? Yes, sometimes.

That, I think, is the healthiest my mind is going to be with my relationship with food.

When we will ever get over our food issues? I think this is the closest I'm going to get.